Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions.

Despite progress in some countries, people with mental health conditions often experience severe human rights violations, discrimination, and stigma.

Many mental health conditions can be effectively treated at a relatively low cost, yet the gap between people needing care and those with access to care remains substantial. Effective treatment coverage remains extremely low.

Can large datasets on personality psychology help us understand ourselves and live life to its fullest? In this episode, i will be talking to my colleague and one of the most prolific researchers in personality psychology Dr. Alex Christensen about how understanding self can be a window into self-growth. Alex is also creating, maintaining, and co-authoring several R packages: EGAnet, NetworkToolbox, SemNeT, SemNetCleaner, and SemNetDictionaires.

Video link

Audio Link

Timestamps of the Conversation:

00:00 Intro

02:00 Pop Psychology and Personality Psychology

04:48 Personality Description, Variance, Contextually & Measurement Issues

09:40 Nomothetic vs Idiographic Personality Descriptions

13:49 Carl Jung, Big Five Personality Model & Biomarkers for it

16:40 Eysenck, Pre-frontal Lobotomy and Medieval labeling of Female Hysteria

18:48 Factor Structure, Predictors of Lifetime Achievements.

22:00 MMPI vs Spectrum of Adaptive & Maladaptive Behaviors

25:57 Criticism of APA, Modernity and Mental Health

30:32 GDP, Economics, Progress & Depression, Europe vs US

35:40 Nietzsche, Jordan Peterson, Religiosity & Sanity

40:33 World Happiness Report, Suicides & Wealth

48:50 DSM V, Cultural Differences, WEIRD population and Symptomatic Diagnosis

54:55 Meditation, Yoga & Mindfulness. Sufism & Forgiveness

01:06:00 Intellect, Humor and Academia

01:18:13 Originals, Creativity, Predicting Talent & Genuine Thinkers

01:22:25 Savant Phenomenon, Chaos and Brilliance, Bach & Mozart

01:28:00 Neurodiversity, Societal integration and IQ

01:39:00 Age-related Variance in Personality

01:42:19 Genome-Wide Studies & Twin Studies

Show Notes:

Alex’s website:

Full Episodes Playlist link:

Clips Playlist link:

Apple Podcast Link:



Minhaaj Rehman is CEO & Chief Data Scientist of Psyda Solutions, an AI-enabled academic and industrial research agency focused on psychographic profiling and value generation through machine learning and deep learning.


✩ Website –

✩ Minhaaj Podcast –

✩ Twitter –

✩ Facebook –

✩ ResearchGate –

✩ Linkedin –

✩ Buy Me a Coffee (I love it!) –

Episode Sponsors

Show Notes


Related Episodes